September 25, 2012

    Photo: Cloneofsnake/Wikimedia Commons

Shark-Finning Ban Considered

Over 50 countries meet to discuss

Representatives from more than 50 countries—including the U.S.—are meeting in Bonn, Germany, this week to discuss a shark-finning ban and a global shark-conservation plan. With shark fins worth up to $740 per kilogram and shark meat much less valuable, the fins are often cut off and the carcasses then dumped back into the ocean. Shark finning is banned in the European Union and 60 other countries, but still, in many of these nations, permits can be obtained for on-boat shark finning. The plan, which would close certain loopholes, is being discussed and refined this week as part of the memorandum of understanding on Conservation of Migratory Species. A decision is expected by Thursday.

Via The Guardian


The brown marmorated stink bug.     Photo: Dendroica Cerulia/Creative Commons

Stink Bug Outbreak Hits U.S.

USDA searches for an answer

Federal officials are searching for a way to stop the spread of the brown marmorated stink bug, an invasive species from Asia that has made its way into 38 states. The bug, which first appeared in Pennsylvania in 1998, is believed to have originated in China or Japan and made its way to the U.S. as a stowaway in shipping containers. Though harmless to humans, the insect poses a serious threat to specialty crop growers, puncturing fruits ands causing them to rot. Among the solutions being discussed is the introduction of the insect’s native predator, the wheelbug. The USDA has launched Stop BMSB to raise awareness of the threat.

Via Washington Examiner


Bobby Jack Fowler's 1995 booking photo.     Photo: Courtesy of Lincoln County District Attorney

Suspect in Highway of Tears Murders

Police match DNA to inmate

Canadian authorities have linked an American who died in prison six years ago to at least one of the murders and disappearances of 18 women in British Columbia, according to Oregon law enforcement. Investigators matched DNA from Bobby Jack Fowler to a victim who went missing off of the Highway of Tears, a stretch of highway between Prince Rupert and Prince George where several young women have been found dead. Fowler died of lung cancer in 2006 while serving a prison sentence in Oregon for kidnapping, assault, and attempted rape. He has also been named as a suspect in a 1995 double homicide and a person of interest in a 1992 double homicide, both in Oregon.

Via Global Edmonton